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Legislature considering emergency aid to local governments for snow removal

North Dakota Legislative Council

The Legislature is considering financial help for local governments to help cover snow removal expenses — because of the early heavy snowfall.

"I think a lot of us, through our own personal experiences in our communities, recognize the burden that this immense snowfall that we've had in the past three months put on our local officials," said Sen. Terry Wanzek (R-Jamestown), who is the main sponsor of the snow relief measure. "I don't remember many years where October, November and December had so much snow — barely get the snow pushed out, and there would be another two feet on top of it."

Wanzek said local jurisdictions will be asked to look at a five year average of snow removal costs from October first to January first — and then compare the amount it cost them for the same period in 2022.

"And if they exceed the average by 200 percent, the state will cover 60 percent of their costs above 200 percent," Wanzek said.

And Wanzek said the measure would also allow a view of the full winter season – if there are further big snowfalls — and it would be the same formula — look back over five years, and if the snow removal costs for this winter season exceed 200 percent of the average costs, the state will again pick up 60 percent of that bill.

Wanzek said the plan is to “fast-track” the money for the October through December period.

"We're all fairly resilient people, and we learn how to live with it," Wanzek said. "But this is an effort to provide some relief to those entities who are going to get hit hard in their budgets, with all the expenses going to keeping the roads and the infrastructure clean."

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